- Microsoft confirms version 21H1 as the Windows 10 May 2021 Update.
- The final version is available as a preview in the Beta and Release Preview channels.
- The release date of the “May 2021 Update” is sometime in May 2021.
Microsoft has confirmed that the “May 2021 Update” will be the official name of Windows 10 version 21H1. In the April 28 announcement, the company said that the build 19043.928 released on April 13 in the testing channels is considered the final build (or RTM). However, it will continue to provide updates (like the newer build 19043.964 – KB5001391) to ensure the new version is more stable when it ships later in May.
The May 2021 Update is the eleventh feature update available for the desktop version of Windows 10 that includes a small set of changes and no new big features.
Some of the new improvements include support for multi-camera for Windows Hello, “news and interests” taskbar widget, Windows Mixed Reality headset sleep timer options, Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) improvements, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) improvements, and Microsoft Edge (Chromium) support for Windows 10 kiosk mode. You can check out all the new features and improvements in this guide.
In the past, the company rolled out two types of updates each year. A “major” update with new features and improvements during the first half of the year followed by a “minor” update to complement the previous release with fixes and minor changes during the second half of the year. However, this time around, Windows 10 May 2021 Update will be considered minor, and version 21H2 (the second semi-annual update) will be the major release.
The Windows 10 May 2021 Update, version 21H1, will roll out slowly to make sure that only fully compatible devices will get it first. As the update proves to be more stable, the company will continue to expand availability.
When the new version becomes available for your computer, you will receive a “Feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1” notification to download it manually through Windows Update.
If you have version 20H2 or version 2004, the new version will download and apply using as a quick enablement package that should take less than five minutes to install without reinstallation. On the other hand, if the device has version 1909 or an older version, upgrading to Windows 10 21H1 will require full reinstallation.
The company also plans to release the Windows 10 21H1 ISO file (the pre-release version is already ready for download) and Media Creation Tool to perform an in-place upgrade or clean installation. However, using these tools will require reinstallation of the operating system, no matter the version you are running. So, if you have one of the two more most recent versions, it is recommended to use Windows Update to apply the new version.
Get the May 2021 Update now
Although Microsoft will begin the official rollout in the coming weeks, probably towards the end of the month, the final version of the May 2021 Update is already available in the Beta and Release Preview Channels.
If the device running version 20H2 is not enrolled in the Windows Insider Program, you first need to enroll it in the Beta Channel before you can download the update. You can do this by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and clicking the Get started button.
In the wizard, click the Link an account option, select your Microsoft account, and click the Continue button. Under the “Pick your Insider settings” section, select the Beta Channel option, and click the Confirm button. Confirm the terms and conditions, restart the device, and then use the following steps to upgrade.
Then you can install Windows 10 21H1 going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, click the Check for updates button, and then under the “Feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1” section, click the Download and install option.